Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 11:35 UK

Father denied vasectomy reversal

Ben Preston
Andrew Preston's son, Ben, died last year

A man who wants another baby after his son died of cancer has been told he cannot have a vasectomy reversal on the NHS because he still has a daughter.

Andrew Preston, of Clayton, Staffs, said he wanted to "rebuild" his family after Ben, eight, died last year.

But North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust said the family's circumstances were not exceptional enough.

The trust said the procedure would only be considered if all children in a family had died.

The government imposed a blanket ban on vasectomy reversals in 2004 after high demands for the operation put pressure on NHS services.

If anyone has ever lost a child it's a crushing, crushing thing
Andrew Preston

However, it said that the procedures would still be allowed in "exceptional circumstances", left to be determined by individual health trusts.

Mr Preston said he and his wife did not want to replace Ben, but to help rebuild the family and provide their daughter Amy with another sibling.

He said: "We got a letter from the trust which basically said our circumstances are not exceptional because we've not lost all of our children - just one - and apparently that's not good enough.

"If anyone has ever lost a child it's a crushing, crushing thing.

"All we want to do is rebuild the family but this crazy ruling means we would also have to lose Amy before we can start again."

He added that he could have gone private to undergo the procedure but said he wanted to fight the trust on "moral grounds".

Mr Preston's consultant Sam Liu said there were no physical reasons why the operation could not happen and has backed his case.


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